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Thursday, 17 November 2016

Lost Dreams: The New Orleans Vocal Groups

Side 1:
01. Drunk Drunk Drunk - The Kidds
02. Why Fool Yourself - Bernie Williams
03. Bluesy Me - Dave Collins & The Scrubs
04. Lost Dreams - The Dukes
05. Sunny Side Of The Street - The Bees
06. Eternally Yours - The Barons
07. Cotton Picking Hands - The Dukes

Side 2:
01. Later, Baby - Fat Man Matthews & The Four Kittens
02. Boom Boom - The Barons
03. Teardrop Eyes - The Dukes
04. Ain't Gonna Do It - The Pelicans
05. Shake The Dice - The Barons
06. Darling, Please - The Bees
07. Last Ride - The Dukes

Lost Dreams: The New Orleans Vocal Groups. EMI America ST-17232. Sleeve notes by Jim Dawson and Steve Brigati. Design by Henry Marquez and Lou Beach. Issued in 1987.

Download from here:

Having spotlighted The Spiders in the previous post, we remain on the New Orleans vocal groups theme with this compilation of sides from the label which hosted The Spiders, Imperial. This LP has been on the blog off and on over the years but for the purpose of this post I've added new cover and label scans. There is also a folder of 45 rpm scans provided by Joan K.

The notes on the back cover of the LP are very comprehensive and I've based the notes below on the sleeve notes. I have, however, added some extra info and corrected a couple of points regarding release numbers and release dates. See the tracklist below for a summary and then read on!

01. Drunk Drunk Drunk - The Kidds (Imperial 5335) February 1955
02. Why Fool Yourself - Bernie Williams (Imperial 5360) July 1955
03. Bluesy Me - Dave Collins & The Scrubs (Imperial 5294) July 1954
04. Lost Dreams - The Dukes (unreleased, 1956)
05. Sunny Side Of The Street - The Bees (unreleased, 1955)
06. Eternally Yours - The Barons (Imperial 5343) March 1955
07. Cotton Picking Hands - The Dukes (Imperial 5415) November 1956
08. Later, Baby - Fat Man Matthews & The Four Kittens (Imperial 5211) December 1952
09. Boom Boom - The Barons (Imperial 5343) March 1955
10. Teardrop Eyes - The Dukes Imperial 5401) July 1956
11. Ain't Gonna Do It - The Pelicans (Imperial 5307) October 1954
12. Shake The Dice - The Barons (unreleased, 1955)
13. Darling, Please - The Bees (unreleased, 1954)
14. Last Ride - The Dukes (unreleased, 1956)

The earliest side on this compilation, "Later, Baby" by Fat Man Matthews & The Four Kittens, was released on Imperial 5211 in December 1952. The B Side was "When Boy Meets Girl." The group was actually a gospel group, The Humming Four, who backed Allen "Fat Man" Man Matthews (at that time singing with The Dave Bartholomew Band) on these two sides. The disc didn't do much business and singer and group went their separate ways for a while.

At the end of 1953 Matthews and a changed line up of The Humming Four re-united in the recording studio as The Hawks. They released a total of five singles in 1954 and in June of that year also backed up Dave Collins (adopting the moniker The Scrubs) on "Bluesy Me" (Imperial 5294) which was released the following month.

The full story of The Hawks, The Four Kittens, and The Scrubs can be found on Marv Goldberg's site here:

The Pelicans and The Kidds were the same group recording under different names. "Ain't Gonna Do It" (Imperial 5307), released in October 1954, was the B Side of "Chimes". In February 1955 the same group, now renamed The Kidds, released "Drunk, Drunk, Drunk" (Imperial 5335). Both of these discs were equally raucous and unruly. Versions of "Ain't Gonna Do It" were also recorded by Smiley Lewis and Fats Domino.

The Bees were brought to New Orleans from New York by Dave Bartholomew. They recorded the double entendre "Toy Bell" which was released in October 1954. Many years later Chuck Berry covered the song as "My Ding-A-Ling". The Bees tracks on this comp, "Darling Please" (1954) and "Sunny Side Of The Street" (1955) were not released

"Eternally Yours" / "Boom Boom" (Imperial 5343) by The Barons was released in March 1955. Billboard described "Boom Boom" as being "in dubious taste." Note that the release number given to "Boom Boom" in the LP sleeve notes is wrong. Imperial 5359 was another disc by the Barons - "My Dream, My Love" / "I Know I Was Wrong" (July 1955). The rousing "Shake The Dice" is an unreleased Barons track from 1955.

The Barons may be the group backing Bernie Williams on "Why Fool Yourself" (Imperial 5360) which was released in July 1955, b/w "Don't Tease Me".

The Dukes recorded  a couple of sessions for Imperial in 1956. "Teardrop Eyes" (Imperial 5401) was released in July 1956 and was highly rated by Billboard. "A highly effective side, sparked by the unusually distinctive vocal work of the lead singer on a moving theme." "Cotton Picking Hands" (Imperial 5415) was the B Side of "Wini Brown" which was released in November 1956. Neither "Lost Dreams" nor the supremely weird "Last Ride" were released in the 1950s.

A disc listed by some websites as a Dukes release on Imperial from 1954, "Come On And Rock" / "I'll Found A Love", is in fact a bootleg issue of two unreleased sides recorded for Specialty by a different group called The Dukes. A listen to "Come On And Rock" on YouTube confirms that these Dukes sound nothing like Imperial's Dukes. See Marv Goldberg's article on The Dukes who recorded for Specialty for details:

You can hear more Imperial vocal group sides on the BGO CD reissue of 2 LPs originally issued on the Imperial label in the US and on Liberty in the UK around 1970: "Rhythm 'N' Blues Vol. 1: The End Of An Era" and "Rhythm 'N' Blues Vol. 2: Sweet N' Greasy". The LPs were part of a series of 8 "Legendary Masters" LPs inspired by Bob Hite of Canned Heat.

BGOCD466. The Dukes, The Bees, The Kidds / The Pelicans, and The Barons are featured, and sides not on "Lost Dreams" are on this CD. The Spiders, The Hawks and The Shaweez provide more New Orleans sounds.

Included in the download is a folder of scans by Joan K, so let's close the post with a visual feast.


Bob Mac said...

Looks good, many thanks for posting.

Anonymous said...

Many thanks, boogiewoody!

boogiewoody said...

Thanks for the comments, guys. As I said on the post, this LP has been on Be Bop Wino before but I thought it was time to give it the full BBW treatment with new scans and more informative notes. It was definitely worth the bother. A good album to listen to, plus by reading up on the background I came across the story behind the bootleg Dukes single. You never know where a little reading will take you!

Matt D said...

oh yes, indeed.

thanks so much -- haven't visited here in a bit. your work is greatly appreciated!

Chi-Town said...

Thanks for the New Orleans doo-wop/R&B, BW and Joan K. The fantastic posts contine on Be Bop Wino!! It is always a pleasure to come here.

Pismotality said...

Regarding the BGO CD of The End of an Era/Sweet 'n' Greasy comps by Bob Hite: included on one of those volumes is one of my favourite ever doo wop tracks, Chimes by the Pelicans. It adheres to the Zappa idea of "cretinous simplicity" in doo wop, but is also very touching. And the Five Keys' gospellish fervour on Red Sails in the Sunset, wholly different from the Spaniels' version, is also worth noting. I have tried and failed to leave this comment earlier so here's hoping this gets through. I have written about Chimes on my blog - search for "aurelian chimes".

boogiewoody said...

You're through to Be Bop Wino, Mr Pismotality! When I spotted the post on your blog in which you praised The Dukes on "Lost Dreams" I just new I had to re-up the LP. Thanks for the heads up on The Chimes - I'll give it a listen. And you've reminded me - there are a couple of Five Keys LPs I need to re-up!